tv Martin Bashir MSNBC February 21, 2013 4:00pm-5:00pm EST
and bald he'eagles drop instantaneously from the sky. try thinking about policy, ideas, stuff that could really make people's lives better. until then you will keep losing, we will keep gloating, and the country will be worse off for it. all right. that does it for us at "the cycle." >> thank you so much, krystal. good afternoon. it's thursday, february 21st, and republicans in congress are set to do something -- sorry, who has been at the prompter again. that's supposed to say nothing. >> we've got some automatic spending cuts coming up in nine days that will lay off hundreds of thousands of folks. >> if you listen to the president of the united states, it is pretty much the end of the world. >> why would republicans support something that does what boehner sas it's going to do? >> there's no reason they should be furloughed. there's no reason they should lose their job or be laid off. this is a problem that congress
can't solve. >> we listen to our donors. that's why we're getting involved with the conservative victory project. >> back in my days, we used bayer aspirin for contrasep tc s contraceptives. the gals put between their knees. >> they said why did we come up short in these races we should have won? >> it's premature. we have a quarter of the vote. >> the republicans are going to be on the hook for this one. >> i hope and believe the republicans will allow the sequestration into effect. >> they're not necessary. they'll hurt our economy, they'll raise the unemployment rate, and the reason is because congress has in the been able to compromise on a deficit reduction package that's more sensible. ♪ we start with the president who today reached out to republican leaders in congress with just eight days to go before tens of millions of dollars in brutal budget cuts will take effect.
and we can only hope that for the sake of the country, republicans have started to listen. because polls out today show that the american people certainly favor the president's approach to the so-called sequester on march 1st. but they find the republican position about as popular as karl rove at a tea party event and that's because this budget battle sounds very familiar. and that's why the president is reaching exactly the same message on these cuts that he campaigned on last year. >> they're not necessary. they'll hurt our economy. they'll raise the unemployment rate, and the reason is because congress has not been able to compromise on a deficit reduction package that's more sensible. >> unfortunately but not surprisingly, republicans are unmoved. once again looking at the same polls, they unskew a slightly different message from the american electorate. >> i hope and believe the republicans will allow the sequestration to go into effect so that we can start down a path of trying to get control of
spending and reduce the deficit. >> the big boulder standing in way of any kind of resolution is the issue of taxes and the closing of tax loopholes. republicans won't hear of it. even if polls show that 76% believe deficit reduction must be a combination of tax hikes and spending cuts. which may sound familiar because back in december when voters again said they wanted tax hikes as part of a deal avoiding the fiscal cliff, here is what republicans were saying. >> the election wasn't a mandate to raise taxes. >> an obsession to raise taxes is not going to solve the problem. >> sound familiar? yes, it does, and that's because republicans are stuck in a loop. it doesn't matter if it's the 2011 budget deal, december's fiscal cliff, or the march 1st looming deadline. the only problem this time is that if they take the wrong option, they won't just tank a
political party, they could be responsible for throwing the nation's economy overboard. let's get right to nbc's kristin welker who is live at the white house. kristin, all of us want to know and i wonder if you can tell us about these phone conversations between the president and speaker boehner and minority leader mitch mcconnell. what was said? do you know the tone of them? what happened? >> reporter: well, martin, unfortunately the white house is not giving a whole lot of information except to characterize those phone conversations as good. white house press secretary jay carney got a number of questions about that conversation, of course, during the briefing. we asked if there had been any progress, if president obama had made any new offers. he wouldn't take the bait, wouldn't answer those questions. republicans this afternoon raising the question of their own, why hasn't president obama reached out to democratic leaders on the hill, but as you point out, martin, this conversation comes against the backdrop of some positive news for president obama. in addition to that number you just sight cited from the usa
today/pew poll, there's another part of that poll which shows 51% of americans approve of the job that president obama is doing as compared to 25% who approve of the job republicans are doing. so president obama getting a boost from that poll today certainly during that conversation that he had with congressional leaders. in terms of what's next, two phone calls will be on the horizon, we haven't had any indication. what i can tell you is that president obama will be leaving washington, d.c., taking his message on the road next week when he heads to knew port nene virgin virginia. >> kristin welker at the white house, thanks so much. let's turn to our panel, eddie bernice johnson and jared bern teen, a senior fellow. good day to both of you. congresswoman, good afternoon. isn't this actual sequester, let's be honest, exactly what
republicans like paul ryan have been longing for? i mean, you know that he's put together multiple budgets that would slash everything from meals on wheels to transportation services for the disabled. this sequester, it just gives him the chance to see all of these services cut to pieces and he sits back with clean hands and an impure heart. is that not true? >> well, sure it's true. the unfortunate thing is that this is not about obama. it's not about the president. it's about the people of this nation. it's about the future of this nation. we cannot afford to cut off all of our future because of the threat of sequester. we cannot go forward unless we do some forward thinking and planning. we cannot do that when we're cutting off all of our research and development, when we're cutting off all of our military jobs. texas, for example, stands to
lose over 90,000 jobs. now, these are jobs where people make more than minimum wage and they're part of the middle class. if we lose 100,000 jobs just because of sequester, that is just the tip of the iceberg. >> and that is one state. that is one state. >> one state. one state. >> jared, the entire republican strategy seems to be predicated on the idea that if the cuts happen, then it's the president who takes the blame. what do you say -- what do you think they would say to the new pew poll that shows half of americans would actually blame republicans, and less than a third hold the president responsible? or is this just liberal media bias again? >> listening to the poll numbers that you were citing earlier, i once again am struck by how well the american people get this stuff and how poorly republicans
in congress actually understand what's going on outside their bubble. now, the thing about the sequester and the republicans is that this grows out of the budget control act, which was passed in 2011 along bipartisan lines. 73% of house republicans voted for that act. john boehner said the day it passed, i got 98% of what i wanted. paul ryan, i have a quote from him today on my blog, paul ryan said if they try to breach the spending limits, the sequester kicks in, we got that in there, something like that. these folks have owned this. not unlike what you just said, they thought it was good policy. by the way, with one exception. paul ryan would really not like to see those defense cuts take place. >> of course not. we don't want any of those. >> one of the things you have to watch out for is trying to switch from kind of a bait and switch, trying to switch from the defense cuts over to the nondefense side of the budget which can't take any more cuts as far as i'm concerned. >> absolutely. congresswoman, my colleague, the
reverend al sharpton, just interviewed the president on the radio. i'd like to you take a listen to what the president said about these cuts. >> they would prefer to see these kinds of cuts that could slow down our recover over closing tax loopholes. and that's the thing that binds their party together at this point. >> do you agree that republicans are in a sense enjoying this fight because what it's doing by default is unifying them over something? because they're clearly in disarray following november, but here is a fight where they can basically agree. >> they seem to be agreeing, and it's unfortunate because, you know, just to be sticking it to the president is not the answer. this is not the president's responsibility at this time. it is the responsibility of this congress. and we will be held responsible. this down slide started back in 2001. it has continued, and, yes,
we've got to do some cutting. but we cannot continue to cut jobs. we've got to create jobs. when you have two of the longest wars in history and big tax breaks, there is no way to get around it. we've got to reverse that. we have already -- >> but, ma'am, the irony here appears to be that republicans who have spent the last four years telling us they're committed to job creation and national security are happy to head towards a sequester where national security will be threatened and jobs will be lost, not created according to some estimates. 800,000 jobs. >> indeed. because it cuts off all of the research money, all of the innovation money, all of our universities' research, medical school research, all of that creates jobs, and it creates break-throughs. that is the future of america. this does away with our future. we will just be a third world
country watching the rest of the world go by when we don't look out for our future. unfortunately, there were people in the past who did look out for our future and that's how we did so well. but unless we look out for our future now, there is no future for this country. we've got to educate, we've got to innovate, we've got to create jobs. we cannot continue to just cut jobs. it does not do anything positive for the economy to keep cutting jobs. >> jared, finally, as an economist, just give us an overview of how catastrophic this will prove, because there's been so much disputation about whether these cuts will really have much of an impact. republicans have been running around people like haley barbour saying he doesn't care, let the sequester kick in. >> yes, i disagree with haley barbour's economic analysis, you won't be surprised. i suspect there isn't much there. when you're think being the sequester, you're talking about taking $85 billion out of an
economy that's already growing too slowly i think we would all agree. growing, yes, but not fast enough to lower the unemployment rate. the sequester, i don't know that i would use the word catastrophic. the sequester will take something like half a percent off of gdp growth in this year, in 2013. that's exactly the wrong way. it's like the congresswoman was saying. it's upside down. we need our policymakers to be promoting growth, not harming growth. what that will do is keep the unemployment rate stuck around 8%. it will cost hundreds of thousands of jobs. this is not partisan analysis. every macroeconomic analysis i've looked at comes to this conclusion. take half a percent out, and you actually have an unemployment rate that's going to be stuck where it is instead of coming down exactly the wrong medicine. >> absolutely. jared bernstein and
congresswoman eddie bernese johnson, thank you both for joining us. catch more of the rep rend al sharpton's interview with the president on "politics nation" tonight at 6:00 p.m. next, vice president joe biden keeps pushing. stay with us. >> we also asked him about the heated he can change from yesterday and that jerk comment. >> do you regret calling that man a jerk yesterday? >> of course not. i call people jerks all the time. they call me a jerk all the time. that's what it's supposed to be about. it's supposed to be fun. [ indistinct conversations ] [ male announcer ] when you wear dentures you may not know it, but your mouth is under attack. food particles infiltrate and bacteria proliferate. ♪ protect your mouth, with fixodent. the adhesive helps create a food seal defense for a clean mouth and kills bacteria for fresh breath. ♪
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>> senator richard blumenthal, democrat of connecticut, spoke at a conference on gun violence in his state today. he was joined by other political leaders like vice president jooit who reaffirmed his commitment to reforming this nation's gun laws. >> we can't remain silent. we have to speak for all those voices. we have to speak for those 20 beautiful children who died 69 days ago 12 miles from here. >> if only everyone who wields influence on capitol hill had so much resolve. john mccain was caught making this statement to the mother of a young man killed in the aurora shooting, a mother who asked him about the proposed ban on assault weapons. >> i can tell you right now you need some straight talk. that assault weapons ban will not pass the congress of the united states. [ applause ] >> of course, that wasn't straight talk at all.
senator mccain was just parroting talking points from the gun lobby. but he might have shown a little more respect for a woman whose son's life was taken and, therefore, couldn't be there himself. let's bring in mark glaze, director of mayors against guns and professor james peterson of lehigh university. thanks to both of you. mark, there are all these naysayers who tell us there's no way to win this fight. they even say that to the mothers of victims of shootings. what do you think though, mark, the victims themselves would say to people like senator mccain and the naysayers because isn't it time we started standing up for the very people who because they have been murdered have no voice in this discussion? >> well, we agree and many of the folks whose family members were murdered or who were themselves shot at the congress on your corner event with congresswoman giffords are people we work with every day. we just flew in about a dozen of them a couple week ago to go to
the white house to lobby their members of congress, to meet with senator mccain's staff, and, of course, they more than anybody else, had a right to demand not just talk but a little bit of action. now, i want to be fair to senator mccain. the fact is the last time a controversial gun bill passed in the senate, it was a mccain measure to close the gun show loophole. we need much more now and the senator has actually said good things about expanding the background check system. so i don't want to get too focused on -- >> he sounds as though he's regressing. he doesn't sound very confident. >> well you know what? he may be talking about his political asassment that passing an assault weapons ban through the house and senate may be harder which i think is just true. >> professor, there are so many naysayers but also a lot of otherwise reasonable elected officials who are too intimidated by the gun lobby. let's hear what the vice president had to say to them. take a listen. >> i say to my colleagues who will watch this and listen to
this, i say to you if you're concerned about your political survival, you should be concerned about the survival of our children and guess what? i believe the price to be paid politically to those who refuse to act, who refuse to step forward. >> as a scholar, professor, how do you imagine future generations of americans will look back on people like senator mccain who appear to care more about the right to own guns than the rights of children to attend school without meeting someone armed with an assault weapon? >> yeah. i feel like we'll look back in history at this particular congress, both the house and the senate, at this particular moment where the president has been re-elected by this diverse coalition, and we'll come to a much better understanding that this congress is not representative of this nation. not in its vupt viewpoints. the real straight talk from mr.
mccain is that congress people are bought and sold by lobbyists all day every day. that's straight talk. if he would have said that to the woman whose son was lost in the aurora massacre, i would have a lot more respect for what he's talking about. at the end the day we have to have a public dialogue that can be more encouraging for your elected officials. if we go the route mccain is talking about, there's no pressure on them to ignore the lobbyists or push back against the lobbyists that are controlling the ways in which they're voting. the only reason we can say there's not going to be a ban is because the lobbyists are controlling too much of what's going on in the capitol. >> let's talk about the cost of doing nothing. just in the last 24 hours, police near dallas have reported that a 3-year-old boy was shot in the head and killed in what appeared to be an accidental death. there's no word yet on who fired the fatal shot but police say that both of the child's patients we parents were at home at the time. in chicago a 41-year-old man was shot three times and rushed to
the hospital for surgery and this morning on the las vegas strip a gunman in a black range rover opens fires on a maserati sending that vehicle crashing into a taxi that burst into flames, three people killed, six injured. are we supposed to face every day with this kind of violence and say, well, nothing is going to change about the assault weapons. we can't do anything with the size of magazine clips. we can't do much about the gun show loophole. we probably can't do anything about these straw purchases? is that how we're supposed to approach this? >> those are the right questions and part of the reason this moment is so special is that people who have been doing this work understand it's not just the mass shootings that are so horrible that they capture the nation's attention for a while. 33 americans are murdered in this country every day in places and with names you never hear about, most often with handguns, and many more than that are killed with accidental shootings and through suicides. so the difference is people like
you were talking about this every day now and you're starting to hear about these previously isolated incidents and we think that's going to keep the drum beat up until congress realizes they have to act even if they don't want to. >> finally professor peterson, one more thing about this cover frens today, the gun lobby was not invited to participate in the proceedings. but i ask, what do you think would have happened if they were allowed to attend? what would their contribution have been given that we've heard wayne lapierre say background checks are a complete waste of time? >> exactly, martin. again, i think vice president biden if you go back to his shotgun comments is interested in having second amendment folk at the table but mr. lapierre, the way he's availed himself at every opportunity to speak publicly since the newtown tragedy has been such that we're regressing in terms of the discourse. he's not being respectful, sensitive, or sensible about the things that we need to be talking about with the
inspection and information and data we have now. >> gentlemen, thank you so much for joining us this afternoon. >> thank you. coming up, karl rove continues to sing for his supper. he does. stay with us. ♪ ♪ no two people have the same financial goals. pnc works with you to understand yours and help plan for your retirement. visit a branch or call now for your personal retirement review. a hairline fracture to the mandible and contusions to the metacarpus. what do you see? um, i see a duck. be more specific. i see the aflac duck. i see the aflac duck out of work and not making any money. i see him moving in with his parents and selling bootleg dvds out of the back of a van.
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from the president on message and the swimsuit edition to a call from the jerk store. here are today's top lines, rove to nowhere. >> obama knows all he's got to do is go out there and make a couple really tough speeches and the republicans will cave. >> we've got some automatic spending cuts in nine days. >> if you listen to the president, it's pretty much the end of the world. >> and godzilla will destroy the
capitol, too. >> 50 years ago the usa was a far different place. our primary values were self reliance and honest. the swimsuit edition comes out every year and every year there is controversy. >> for those of you watching it on c span, for god's sake, it's saturday night. >> if the buddy system collapses if you can't urinate on your attacker or vomit on him or faint -- >> unfortunately, i have felt like vomiting all week. >> hi, we're here in the white house kitchen looking for a healthy snack. >> i bet you can get just anything you want. >> for this president lies like all the other men. with their lies they leave behind nothing but broken dreams and a torn cot to be negligee. >> i call people jerks all the time. >> stop this train! some sort of junior high school level pettiness. >> it was anti his own party and people. >> maybe a little payback is the
antithesis of your stated campaign. >> i call people jerks all the time. >> when a liberal has a libel that i'm some kind of soviet boss, it gets passed right by. >> for the first time in my life, i am ashamed of my country. >> we do have a problem on the right. we have too many organizations that are run by consultants who are more concerned with their fees and profits than they are with advancing the cause. >> let's get right to our panel now. karen finney is the former dnc communications director and josh is a columnist for bloomberg view. good day to both of you. karen, karl rove appeared to take greater exception to being described as a member of the politburo than he did to being photo shopped as a nazi, but if both sides are linking you to a brutal regime, doesn't that suggest you may have a genuine reputational problem at this point? >> yeah, that tells you that you've definitely upset far too many people. i mean, look, rove was talking
about, you know, as part of the reason for this new endeavor that he started, the fact that donors have come after him and said, hey, what happened to all that money? i bet they did. i think a lot of people said you're supposed to be bush's brain, you're supposed to be the guy who was going to bring us the permanent republican majority and instead you can't even read a poll right. so, yeah, but part of the reason i think he's being attacked from all sides is that he's trying to kind of shift the focus away from what are clearly his own professional inadequacies to say it's something else or someone else, and people just aren't buying that. >> josh, you've got a new article in bloomberg's the ticker blog and it's called why we need republicans. you talk about the need for republicans to reject a tired interpretation of policies over the last 30 years. now, can you explain that a bit because that's not what karl rove is saying. >> no. karl rove is branding guy. so his solution is obviously going to be, well, we need to
get the right faces out saying the right lines and we can elect people with the same set of policies and he had some success with that with the bush administration. he can't come up with another solution. that's why he has to push that. my view is the republican party is failing because their economic policy agenda has been shown to be unhelpful to a majority of americans and so now even when republicans come out and say, well, this is good for the middle class if they're pushing the same old ideas, they're not going to win those people over. so i think the democrats are wrong about a large number of things and they need a vibrant party opposing them and pushing critiques where they're needed but republicans will have to update some of their ideas in order to be useful. >> that's a very generous way of putting it if i may say so. let me play you a piece of that interview where mr. rove defends his victory fund that is supposed to ensure no more stupid, idiotic candidates. >> we listen to our donors. that's why we're getting involved with the conservative victory project. we have people wh gave us $325
million in 2011 and '12 and they said why did we come up short in these races we should have won? we deserve to have a right to be involved in primaries and we want to go about it in a thoughtful fashion. >> karen, how does -- >> yeah. >> what do you think the base is going to respond to in hearing karl rove say, by the way, the donors and i are going to decide who the representative of your constituency will be. >> donors, they're kind of mad they didn't get their money's worth last time when i told them i was a safe bet. but yet it's somebody else's fault. that is exactly part of the problem. and i thought josh's piece was very good. i do think the country is stronger when you have two strong political parties and the conversation is about ideas and if we say that we have got to protect the middle class then let's come at that from the liberal side and the conservative side and figure out what is a real way to do that? that is not the conversation that we're having right now and that is not the sales pitch that
karl rove is making right now. the base of the party, this is -- you have heard me say this, chickens coming home to roost to some degree because the coalition of voters that karl rove put together has really painted the republican party into a very conservative ideological corner and they can't get out of it in the ways that josh suggests in his piece. that's part of the problem. so just putting lipstick on a pig or more money into a race and giving somebody a fresh set of talking points is not necessarily going to solve the problem. i think as we have talked about before, the tea party base, they're not going for it anymore. >> they're certainly not. josh, isn't it karen's point that you can dress up the performance as you said earlier, but ultimately where are the substantive policies? for example, have you heard an alternative to the affordable care act from republicans? >> not yet. >> repeal obama care every day but what's the alternative? zero. >> when you take the set of principles that republicans espouse on health care and try to cobble a policy together out
of them, you get one of two things. either you're mitt romney and i make the compromises necessary and end up in almost the same place. you can tinker at the edges and say we'll make the program is little less expensive but you have to have the same basic planks or you end up with something that doesn't work very well, that believes a lot of people uncovered and costs a ton of money and that will be unpopular. so you end up with this vague thing where you say we'll repeal and we'll allow sale of insurance policies across state lines and it will all work. >> it's been worse than that. instead of having even that information, it's been we're going to vote 30 times to repeal president obama's affordable care act, not replace it with anything substantive -- >> that's the point josh is making. there is no content. >> right. >> but also wasting the time of congress. >> right. >> to have that vote 30 times knowing that it's pointless, knowing it's not going to go anywhere. fight being that rather than saying let's use that time to come up with some ideas we can agree on. >> not just wasting the time of
congress but wasting the time of conservatives. you're seeing increasing realization among conservatives and think tanks and some elected officials that the affordable care act is here to say, let's see what we can do to make it more palatable to us? but that's a conversation that republicans needed to start having four years ago because hale policy is really complicated. and they let democrats have a head start of many years. so it's not just been electorally a problem for the republican party, also a real substantive people for people who have conservative critiques and who think they have ideas to make the government work better. >> josh and karen, thank you both so much more joining us. next, not on my watch. the business owner standing up for his right to support the president of the united states. stay with us. tax refund time is here. i'm with malcom and kelly who are looking for a great new smartphone. you think you can find one at walmart? maybe. let's go see. alright. let him tell you about sprint.
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you're about to meet a man named marcus davis, the owner of a popular diner in houston called the breakfast club. he's involved in a controversial involving murals painting on his walls depicting the president. the mural has been depicted to less than four times. the mural was first hit with paint spray in march 2010. restored and hit again in october 2012 just before the election. undeterred, davis commissioned adams to paint a new look for the 2012 campaign. sure nenough, the mural was struck again in january. mr. davis, who by now had also installed a surveillance camera, was resolute. this time going even bigger with the art featuring the president with a child. and so this monday president's day, mr. davis sensing a similar attack on his property collared someone he thought was about to
strike. the police arrived, everyone was interviewed. ultimately the damplt's offi.a. declined to press charges. the story is not over yet. i'm delighted to say marcus davis joins us now from houston. good afternoon, sir. >> good afternoon to you and thanks for having me on. >> it's a great pleasure. do you believe that in this instance you thwarted someone who would have been the fifth vandal, the fifth time your property was vandalized? >> i'm 100% certain. i had the liberty of watching the surveillance tape each time and on this instance i was able to identify the exact same behavior patterns as the last attack which was a gentleman riding up on a bicycle which was a gentleman standing out on the parking lot on his cell phone, and it was also a can of open paint sitting less than 12 inches away from the mural. >> now, it does seem to us on this broadcast that in some ways
your attempt to protect the mural of the president in the face of repeated vandalization is not a bad anal si. almost symbolic of the obama presidency where it doesn't matter if it's the governor of arizona shoving her fingers in the president's face or someone shouting offensively at the state of the union address. i mean, do you agree? >> i agree. listen, martin, i tell people all the time that this mural is not the presidency but it is a symbol of president obama's administration, and each day he gets up, he goes to work, and he's attacked. attacks from the left, attacked from the right, the middle, and he continues to work diligently. so my commitment is that each day that he gets up and goes to work, i will get up and i will fight and continue to have the mural restored as they continue to attempt to vandalize it. >> i admire your resoluteness. to what lengths will you go to protect this work? >> to what lengths will i go?
>> yes. >> there's an endless supply of paint out there, and i will continue to commission reginald adams who i want to thank for being my partner in this event, and, you know, whatever lengths the president will go to make this nation great and to move this nation forward, i'm committed to continue that symbolism by maintaining this mural. >> but thinking of your willingness to protect this mural, mr. davis, we also know that in addition to your support for the president, you support the first amendment and you also support the second amendment. and we have a picture of you with a weapon. i believe it's ana ar-15 over your shoulder. i have to ask you, would you consider using a weapon like that on someone who was prepared to deface a painting? >> well, martin, in this instance, as in all of the incidents that i may encounter, my preference is to not have to use any violence, any guns,
anything of that nature. this time we were able to apprehend, i was able to restrain the young man or the gentleman i should say by hand. and it is not my desire to bring violence into this world or into this city or into this nation, but it is in my opinion it is the right thing to do to defend myself. now, will i go above and beyond? no, i won't go above and beyond but i will do the right thing to defend and protect my property. the first amendment talks about the right to property, the initial words of the constitution was the life, liberty, and the pursuit of property and a man has a right to own his property and to protect it according to the second amendment. and, no, but i do value human life, and, no, i don't believe that that's the length to which i will go if there are other measures that are in place. >> well, thank you -- sorry, go ahead. >> but the idea was that on the
morning that the mural was vandalized and we found out, i was trying to make a point that it's possible to support someone and not agree with everything that they say or that they do or that they believe in. and in spite of me having a disagreement with president obama in his policy as a supporter, it doesn't mean i'm going to go out and deface or bring hazard or harm to my own property nor am i going to do it to someone else's so how dare someone else decide they would do such a thing. >> marcus davis -- >> there's no monolithic supporter. >> marcus davis, we've run out of time, but thank you so much. i'd love to have breakfast at the breakfast club myself sometime. >> soon. i got a plate of fish and grits for you now. skro thanks, sir. thank you. >> thank you. coming up, florida governor rick scott flip-flops on obama care. would you believe it? and the tea party is steamed. stay with us. >> this is just another government program where the federal government will run out of money and they'll put it on the states again. we can't afford it in florida. i have a cold, and i took nyquil,
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finally we have some good news out of florida. having attempted to suppress the vote and encourage the warehousing of severely disabled children, governor rick scott has agreed to expand medicaid under the president's health care reform. having opposed the affordable care act even before he was elected and right up to the supreme court, governor scott offered this explanation for his change of mind. this is not a white flag of surrender to government-run health care. i cannot in good conscience deny the uninsured access to care. but just as a quick refresher, here is what he said shortly after the court's ruling last june. >> this is going to be devastating for patients, devastating for taxpayers. it's going to be the biggest job killer ever. we're not going to implement
obama care in florida. we're not going to expand medicaid because we're going to do the right thing. >> but remember, his complete reversal is not a white flag of surrender. dana milbank is a political columnist for "the washington post." dana, in real terms this means health care coverage for almost 1 million people, low income people in florida, but did governor scott act out of compassion for the poor or concern for his own political survival since he's up for re-election? >> well, if it's not a white flag of surrender then surely he's laid down his weapons and accepted the terms of the peace treaty that the administration offered. look, the tea party is saying he's benedict arnold and he sold out. a lot of people are saying it's because his approval ratings are so low and they are abysmally low, 33%, but you know what? he made as good a case for obama care as obama has ever made. he said that, yes, he's all about job creation there in florida, but the real measure of a civilization is how it takes
care of the weakest and the poorest, and he said this was a good deal for florida and, as you noted, he can't in good conscience say no to it. >> that's true, dana, but since the announcement, the anger on governor scott's twitter feed is white hot. let me read you some. one woman says, hear me, governor rick scott, next rally in naples i will walk with biggest poster against your re-election. betrayed floridians. another person tweets, reality check, governor rick scott's hospitals will benefit from millions getting insurance. scott has not suddenly become a human being. then there's still more, quote, governor rick scott of florida supports medication expansion. the tea party is officially dead. has scott just literally dropped some gasoline into the toxic infighting that's engulfing the republican party? >> certainly he has but i think he's brought more momentum to the smaller sanity contingent there. he's the seventh republican governor to agree to this
medicaid expansion. it looks like the vast majority of states will go along with it. he was elected on a platform of opposing obama care. that's how he got into politics. so it's certainly formalizing obama care as a permanent part of the american system, but, look, it also shows that things have tilted entirely against what had been the founding element of the tea party. >> indeed it has. dana milbank, thank you so much. and we'll be right back. [ male announcer ] why is kellogg's crunchy nut so delicious?
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it's time to "clear the air." and scott brown has become the latest republican to perfectly encapsulate their love/hate relationship with the existence and intervention of government. here he is describing his personal biography in a recent interview and notice what he says at the end of the clip. >> i looved in 17 houses by the time i was 18 and my mom was on
welfare for a period of time, about you it was there as a safety net, not as a life long entitlement. >> it worked for me, says mr. brown, because i regarded it as a safety net but he warns that others may not see it in the same way. this philosophical position that what's good for the goose is not good forred gander is shared by several prominent republicans. >> i believe in federal financial aid. i couldn't have gone to college without it. >> well, great for him, mr. rubio is a bright young man and it's excellent to hear that his talents were nurtured and enabled by government financial aid. so surely he's going to support the same resources for other americans, right? >> more government isn't going to help you get ahead. it's going to hold you back. >> come again? >> more government isn't going to help you get ahead. it's going to hold you back. >> mr. rubio admits that he couldn't have got his law degree without the government's support but if you try to do the same it won't work because government
support is only going to hold you back. this view that it's fine for me but not for you is also shared by the king of small government, congressman paul ryan. after his father's sad and premature passing, mr. ryan's family was supported by social security benefits. these helped put him through university. the self-same place where he would absorb the teachings of his beloved ayn rand and develop his personal philosophy. >> we can become a society where the net majority of americans are takers not makers. >> takers versus makers. takers and makers. >> it's not just the rank hypocrisy, it's the blatant lack of self awareness that beggars belief and every other day on one particular network, they serve up zinger after zinger of pure quackery. >> we are a capitalistic society, okay. i go into business, i don't make it, i go bankrupt. they're not going to bail me out. i have been on 2350d stamps and welfare. anybody help me